Exit Strategies

Brave New War

As the young Napoleon Bonaparte ventured into Egypt in 1798, his aspiration to world-transforming power was already apparent. In the shadow of the pyramids, the future Emperor and his men made short work of the antiquated Mamluk cavalry that had once repulsed the Mongol Horde. He would later relate his grand vision:

I was full of dreams…I saw myself founding a new religion, marching into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my head, and in my hand the new Koran.

While Napoleon’s desire to recast the East in his own image is understandable in the context of his megalomania, Western ruling classes have no such alibi for entertaining similar delusions. Their technocratic language is much less inspiring than that offered by Le Petit Caporal, mired as it is in the blandest incantations of “development”, “good governance” and “civil society”, but the same carnage results. Our policy establishment sends men to die in far-off mountains and deserts so that Muslims may discover the New Koran of liberty, equality and progress. In Europe and the United States its dictates are already enforced to the letter.

Since the time of Bonaparte, armed proselytism of the new religion has received an upgrade. Grenadiers and dragoons have given way to special operators, precision-guided munitions and killer drones, all in the service of a united humanity marching toward a bright new tomorrow. For confirmation of such deadly flights into fantasy, one can read a recent article on the UK’s new Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir David Richards. Britain’s top strategist seems quite committed to imposing the Open Society upon various benighted tribes in the wilder corners of our world. He acts at the behest of his political masters, of course, but is resolute about the need to occupy Afghanistan for another 30 or 40 years. As Richards articulates:

The national security of the UK and our allies is, in my judgment, at stake – that is why we are engaged in a global struggle against a pernicious form of ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism.

Why must NATO maintain indefinite deployments of forces in the Hindu Kush, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, fighting against this ‘pernicious form of ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism’? The reason behind the interminable Long War goes beyond maneuvers to secure control over Eurasia and its energy corridors. The contemporary West is engaged in a global counterinsurgency campaign as a final, desperate effort to affirm the permanence of the liberal order, to prove that history has indeed come to an end. Yet no more than savage bands of Pashtun mountain men have exploded that myth, as well as its pretensions to universal validity.

As long as the elites retain a level of material power, though, they will be unrepentant and undeterred in their redemptive materialism. There may be disagreements among them on Western courses of action in the Muslim world, though never on the necessity of the latter’s evolution toward secular democracy. In this the modern is as devoted to his doctrines as the Mohammedan. Phenomena essential to Islam’s origins and nature (such as jihad) are just a big misunderstanding, you see; changing the Ummah’s cultural and historical norms only requires the right calibration of social engineering policies:

Education, prosperity, understanding and democracy, he argues passionately, are the weapons that would ultimately turn people away from terrorism, although he admitted that to believe that such an undertaking could be achieved "within the time frame of the Second World War would be naive in the extreme".

It would be naive in the extreme to imagine that NATO will succeed where other empires failed catastrophically. General Richards may argue passionately for further international police action and welfare programs, but such measures are the last, dying gasp of Enlightenment rationalism applied to its logical end-point. Of still greater concern must be the destruction wrought by these ideas in our own lands, for enlightening the Muslim nations is only half of the equation. In a striking echo of Anglo-American designs on the ruins of the Old Order after the Great War, the Long War’s crowning achievement would be to eradicate the very last vestiges of European Christendom. Thus is the world made safe for democracy.

Salvation through government by “The People”, in turn composed of atomized market units, is the message of a false faith. To drive home the absurdity of this proposition, The American People today amuse themselves with celebrity escapades and video games as the predators of high finance and Empire carry on their machinations to the tune of nearly $14 trillion in national debt. And while geopolitical and economic conflicts define the character of Western interventions and Muslim terrorism, the bloodshed and chaos we witness ultimately derive from a crisis of the spirit.

Whether or not weary and passionless moderns are inclined to admit so, the current war is a religious one and centers upon Europe, the heart of the West. At the end of the 19th century, the great Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev compared the development of the two most powerful threats to Christendom, heresies both born in some measure from perversions of Christian teaching. On the frontiers of the Eastern Roman Empire arose Islam, collective submission to the divine will of an inhuman despot. In the Occident humanism would eventually prevail- the integrity of the individual superseded every higher reality and led to man’s self-worship. Despite their radical incompatibilities, the adherents of the New Koran and the old both seek to wipe out the memory, specifically the European memory, of Christ the God-Man who in noblest sacrifice conquered death.

With traditional Europe long ago overpowered by the Revolution, the counterfeit prophecies of humanism and Islam now move into active confrontation. From the clash emerges a strange dialectic. As the West sets out to modernize Dar-al-Islam, democratic universalism has produced the conditions for its own societies’ Islamization. Whereas our ancestors fought heroically to prevent the Continent’s subjugation by Moors and Turks, today our governments, champions of “human rights” all, throw the gates wide open to millions of them and enable the rise of Muslim power in places where Ottoman sultans could barely have dreamed of invading.

How much longer must Pakistani rape-gangs roam Britain? And how many more Britons will meet an early death fighting in Afghanistan to uphold this state of affairs? Answering on behalf of transatlantic elites, General Richards was remarkably frank: the occupation of Afghanistan and other expeditions will continue effectively forever. Never can multiculturalism, mass immigration, and secular pluralism be questioned under the regnant ideology that made the present nightmare even possible.

In its advanced stages of development, the liberal project reveals a totalitarian nature. Postmodern imperialism lays claim not simply to mere territories and resources; it asserts itself as the sole arbiter of humanity’s future and fate. The managerial regime will attend to organizing its vision of happiness on earth. In return, and as a gesture of gratitude, you need only relinquish a few minor things: the cultural and blood-inheritance bequeathed to you by your fathers, your faith, and the destiny of your nation.

You, children of Europe, are but ethnographic material to be indoctrinated, demoralized, exploited and dissolved in a new enterprise more magnificent and equitable than anything ever conceived by your invisible, forgotten God. Besides, relax; you’re all consumers now! Enjoy a football game and some pornography, or just go shopping for life’s meaning.

Or you can revolt. For the sake of true justice, such an act would necessitate solidarity not only with our unborn descendants, but also with our dead- the generations past who made Europa uniquely beautiful even amidst the fratricide of a fallen world. Love and honor carry zero market value; of what use are valor and charity against the coercive mechanisms of Leviathan? Yet these principles transcend earthly power, for they reach back into eternity itself. It is in the dark hours of spiritual struggle, not in self-compromising electoral success, that liberalism will finally be shattered. On that day let us raise skyward the banner of the once and future West.